Stopping the Cold and Flu Onslaught

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It’s that time of year: cold and flu season are fast approaching. And, with the quick and early drop in temperatures  (global what?), the season promises to be longer and nastier. There is no “cure” for the cold and flu. Even though drugs and other substances may help, your body must fight off the viruses through the immune system. This is why it’s vital to boost your immune system especially this time of year. Here are a few ways to accomplish that:

1.  Sleep- Getting enough sleep (7-9 hours for adults) is crucial to keep your immune system at top performance. How many Americans get enough sleep? My guess is not enough

2.  Exercise- Exercise can boost your immune system in important ways. However, you can’t over-exercise or your immune system takes a hit. Workouts that go too long cause stress on the body and immune system.

3.  Eat well- Low sugar, whole grain foods, limited meat, lots of fruit and vegetables, and other healthy choices boost a person’s overall health and immune power.

4.  Stress- Keeping the body in a constant fight or flight response wreaks havoc with the immune system. This is true even for low level daily stress, so you should avoid it if possible or deal with it through relaxation techniques, fun activities, friends, etc. A good, basic technique is an easy one to remember. In a high stress environment think of: STAR (Smile, Take a Deep Breath And Relax). This can really make a big difference.

I don’t specifically recommend supplements because that is a personal decision to be made with a doctor, but I use them and believe they have an important place in fighting colds and the flu. So, the following represents my personal experience and is not medical advice. I start with Vitamin C. I typically also take Oregano Oil, Olive Leaf, N-Acetyl Cysteine, and Bromelain. The first two may have anti-viral properties and the last two could help with congestion. I also fry up green beans or spinach in a lot of garlic. It’s bad for the breath, but probably beneficial in getting rid of foreign invaders in the body.

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Too Much of a Good Thing

No, I’m not talking about chocolate, wine, cheese, meat, or anything else that experts recommend we consume in moderation. The topic of this post is exercise.

Exercise addiction is a real phenomenon and generally involves a real addiction to the act of exercising and the subordination of other activities and obligations to working out. It also usually includes an emotional component where not exercising can bring anxiety and depression. You can find out more here.

Many of our readers (all five?) may see a little bit of themselves when they read about exercise addiction. This is  something that many of us who are excited about our health probably border on. It’s probably even more true if we used to be sedentary and overweight. After all, we have to be vigilant or it’s back to the old habits (and the old health and old looks). So, we can be forgiven for being a tad obsessive, right?

A tad, yes. Certainly, a student who has to work 3 hours to understand a concept is not an addict to education just because he or she can’t learn it in 1 hour like another student. So, in this sense, many of us who used to be fat genuinely may have to put in more effort. I do get somewhat upset if my exercise routine is interrupted. It’s because I know what happens when that becomes a trend…and it ain’t pretty.

However, we all must make sure we’re not becoming addicted to exercise. Our previous habits were unhealthy and brought us down. We can’t have the same thing happen with our new habits. Exercising while injured or sick and becoming emotionally disturbed over exercise will both damage health, not advance it.

So, if the article I linked to sounds a lot like you, it may be time to pull back a little and maybe even get some help doing it. We want to live life to its fullest and exercise should help that, not hinder it.